We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.
– Galileo Galilei
I’ve been a massage therapist and energy healer for over 15 years. In that time, I have seen people grow mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve watched with awe as they change their lives. I have also seen people remain stagnant despite their desire to be a healthier person. During these 15 years, I have noticed patterns in the people who succeed in healing. I’ve observed what is needed for a person to walk toward healing and what holds them back. These are the 7 truths I know about what is needed to heal.
#1 Learn to love yourself – every little bit.
At the first visit, majority of my clients don’t love themselves. Not truly. And there was a time I didn’t really love myself. Not everyone hates themselves. Some just don’t think they are worth it or matter. Until you learn compassion for yourself and learn to love the good, bad and ugly of yourself, it will be hard to heal because you won’t believe you deserve it. But how do you learn to love yourself?
I’ve found the best path to loving yourself is to learn who you are. Reflect on your past. In your history are keys to who you are today. Observe yourself so you can understand your reactions and behaviors. Learn what it is you like and dislike and what you value and reject. Journal your thoughts so you can dig deep into what you really think and feel about situations.
If you think about it, if you are interested in someone as a friend or lover, you investigate all of these aspects of them. With this investigation comes an understanding and compassion for that person. Treat yourself the same way. You deserve it.
#2 Food Matters
Not everyone wants to hear this part, but it is true. What you put into your body matters. If you don’t believe me, over indulge in your favorite food and tell me how you feel afterward. Probably not good. Learning what eating healthy means and walking that path is a huge part of healing. Eating healthy is a sign that you value yourself and you want to take care of yourself. You want to protect yourself from feeling badly. Does this mean you can never have pizza again? Hell no! But it does mean that you won’t have pizza every night.
Furthermore, there is huge debate as to what a healthy diet is. Some people believe it is a paleo diet of high fat and no grains. Others believe it is a plant-based diet with low-fat and no animal products. However, there are common truths to eating healthy regardless of the diet.
No Fast Food
No processed foods
Eats lots of fruits and vegetables.
No doesn’t mean never. No means 80-90% of the time. This might sound daunting to you. It did to me 20 years ago when a standard breakfast was a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin and a Coca-cola. But I slowly walked away from each of those things. Some I stick to more than others. I never drink soda anymore. I have fast food once in a while, meaning every other month or more. I rarely eat processed foods. However, I’m still working on the sugar thing. But you see what I mean. Step by step you learn to eat healthy. Which brings us to truth #3.
#3 Baby Steps
The clients I see succeed and stay successful do it one step at a time. None of this healing stuff happens over-night. It is a gradual process. And I truly believe that it needs to be in order for it to stick. Just because an alcoholic quits drinking for 3 months doesn’t mean they are cured. There is a lot more healing that needs to happen.
For me, I think the first step was giving up soda. Then I quit smoking. Then I started working out. Then I enrolled in massage school which leads to much self-discovery. From there I started studying energy work with a teacher which led to spiritual development. I later discovered the Enneagram and began understanding my behaviors. I learned how to cook and stopped eating out so much. But if you look, on step leads to the next. I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to go to massage school if I hadn’t been taking care of myself on the outside first. Each layer reveals another layer. But with each layer you feel lighter and lighter. And even then, it is sometimes 3 baby steps forward and 2 baby steps back. For example, I don’t work out like I used to back at the beginning of my journey. But the intensity I worked out at that time served its purpose. I learned what was possible if I put my mind to it. Trust the process. Trust that your hard work is making a difference. Which leads to #4.
When I give my clients advice, they often look at me hesitantly. But if they trust what I say, and take some baby steps to move forward they always come back with a smile on their face. I know taking these steps can be scary. You are closing your eyes and jumping blindly as you take these chances with change. And I promise every little change you make will make a difference. If you don’t see it right away, have faith that it is working. A nutritionist once told me if I just gave up soda I would lose 10 pounds in a month. She lied. So I started drinking soda again. Since I have stopped drinking soda I feel so much better. My body is hydrated and I don’t get headaches when I haven’t “had my Coke” yet by midday. I feel much lighter and am glad I’m not addicted anymore. Now I can truly see that soda has no benefit for my body. None. It is empty calories, sugar and chemicals. But if you had asked me the benefits of giving up soda 6 months into doing it, I probably wouldn’t have been able to say any of that. I would have said, “I know it’s the right thing to do. But I miss it.” You have to have faith that the choices you are making will benefit you in the end, regardless of the discomfort. Which leads to #5.
#5 Learn to be okay with discomfort
Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. Looking into your past can be painful. You might realize that some of the choices you make to “feel better” are actually destructive behaviors but you don’t want to give them up. Learning to set boundaries with the people around you can be extremely difficult and very uncomfortable. Detoxing from sugar can be very frustrating because your body is craving the sugar it is addicted to.
When you are walking the path of the Yoga Nerd you are often living outside of your comfort zone. Facing your demons isn’t easy. Healing isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be a Yoga Nerd. When you walk the healing path you have decided to walk an unknown path. And the unknown is scary. Stick with it. The discomfort will subside and you will feel stronger on the other side.
#6 Your Body wants to Heal
The minute you cut yourself, your body starts a series of reactions all with the purpose of healing the wound. If you are unhealthy, your body is constantly trying to heal. The problem is, sometimes we are assaulting ourselves with negativity faster than the body can heal. When someone is in a toxic relationship, in the quiet moments by themselves their mind, body and spirit are telling them that they need to run. Even if it is a whisper, the message is there. But in the presence of that toxic person there is more toxic coming in than going out. Until they are out of the toxic relationship, that person won’t have a chance to heal. There is more toxic than healing. Trust that the body wants to heal. And every little thing you do to help it heal will be answered by the body in a positive way – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
#7 Only you can heal yourself.
I can tell a client will not walk the healing path successfully when it is obvious they want me to heal them and they don’t want to put any effort in on their end. I can’t heal someone all by myself. I’m not that cool. And if I could I totally would. Also, I would be extremely rich. Even doctors can’t heal you all by themselves. They can prescribe the meditation, but if you don’t take it, you won’t feel better. A surgeon can perform the surgery, but if you don’t follow their instructions after, you will not heal properly. Only you can heal yourself. Only you can choose to become a Yoga Nerd. Only you can do the healing. No one in your life can do it for you.
And if you are thinking to yourself, “If only my situation was different,” that’s definitely not true. You are still the common denominator in your life. Hence the saying, “You can’t run away from your problems.” If you choose to heal yourself, your situation will change. Changing the situation will not heal you. Even if you leave a toxic relationship, if you haven’t figured out WHY you were in that toxic relationship, it will happen again, and again, and again.
I’m sure there are other truths about healing out there. But these 7 are the truths I have seen with my own eyes and experienced in my own heart. I hope my listing them out is helpful for you as your walk the Yoga Nerd path. And remember rule #3 – Baby Steps. If you find there are a few of these truths you are not practicing, just pick one to focus on. The rest will fall into place.
Did you agree with any of the 7 truths? Did any of the 7 truths of healing surprise you? Did you feel resistance to any of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!
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